West Yorkshire mayor doesn't need to be from big party, says Green Party candidate Andrew Cooper: Yorkshire Post Letters

From: Councillor Andrew Cooper, Green Party Candidate for West Yorkshire Mayor, Holmfirth.

Andrew Cooper is running to become the new West Yorkshire mayor.
Andrew Cooper is running to become the new West Yorkshire mayor.

Do West Yorkshire Mayoral candidates have the right qualities to be Mayor, asks Michael Green (The Yorkshire Post, April 10). Here is my answer.

Earlier in my career I worked for nearly 20 years in the energy efficiency and renewable energy sector.

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For a period I worked for the Renewable Energy Association representing the industry at a national level with direct input to government ministers.

In my political life I successfully proposed the UK’s first universally free insulation scheme, Kirklees Warm Zone, that insulated over 50,000

homes on a street-by-street programme.

I also initiated a scheme where householders in Kirklees were able to pay for solar panels through a council-backed loan scheme.

The scheme was so successful that it was the winner at the British Renewable Energy Awards in 2009.

As a result of my successful activities the Independent on Sunday named me one of the UK’s top environmentalists.

As a Green Party councillor for 22 years I have been re-elected to Kirklees Council six times.

I have also been a Kirklees Cabinet Member for five years and chaired a number of Scrutiny Panels.

Internationally, I was for five years a member of the UK Delegation to the EU Committee of the Regions that advised on the impact of EU policies at the local and regional level.

I have also been a delegate to four of the last five United Nations international climate talks, I introduced a policy giving more power to regional authorities in implementing measures to tackle climate change.

This influenced the final statement of COP 24 (the 2018 talks) signed by over 100 governments including the UK.

Mr Green says we need a “big hitter” as West Yorkshire Mayor. I hope I’ve shown that to be a big hitter you don’t have to come from a big party.

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